This is the final Film Friday of 2015. After a short holiday break, we'll return with weekly updates on January 8, 2016.
Opening this weekend
View a guide to this weekend's new theatrical releases including Son of Saul, Sisters, and something else we're probably forgetting.
New trailers and updates for upcoming films
Trek takes one step Beyond
Repeatedly covered in the lead up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the fact that director J.J. Abrams had already revived another franchise with 2009’s Star Trek (which also earned critical acclaim). Unfortunately for Abrams, he stuck around for Star Trek Into Darkness, and its failings have been discussed during his latest press tour (mainly as a lesson in what not to do). Luckily for Star Wars fans, Abrams believes he learned from his approach to that second film. So, now, the question is: what can director Justin Lin bring to Star Trek, after gaining plenty of experience in another franchise directing Fast & Furious 6 as well as Fast Five, Fast & Furious, and Tokyo Drift. The first trailer reveals lots of action, which didn’t please writer and star Simon Pegg, but Star Trek Beyond doesn’t hit theaters until July 22, 2016, so Paramount’s marketing team has time to remind fans of the film's origins and solid cast (Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Anton Yelchin), who, on this adventure are joined by Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Idris Elba as the villain Krall.
A tease for Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them
J.K. Rowling’s first original screenplay returns to the world of Harry Potter, but decades before he’s even born and in a completely different country. Taking place in 1920s New York, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as his magical case of fantastic beasts is misplaced, causing trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds. David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, returns for this November 18, 2016 release after taking a break to film The Legend of Tarzan, and he’s assembled a wonderful cast that includes Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Jenn Murray, and Faith Wood-Blagrove.
Independence Day: Resurgence
Two decades after the events depicted in Independence Day, the aliens have returned (while some never left). The world won’t have Will Smith’s Colonel Steven Hiller to defend them (news about his demise can be found here), but Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson has been working with Earth Space Defense (ESD) to prepare for another invasion. Also reprising their roles are Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, and Brent Spiner. Joining the cast are Liam Hemsworth, Joey King, William Fichtner, Maika Monroe, and Sela Ward. Independence Day: Resurgence hits theaters June 24, 2016.
Tina Fey does the Taliban Shuffle
Based on the book The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days In Afghanistan And Pakistan by Kim Barker, the recently retitled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot stars Tina Fey as Barker in a comedic look at her time reporting in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Focus, Crazy Stupid Love) from a script by 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt writer Robert Carlock, the March 4, 2016 release has a strong supporting cast that includes Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina, and Christopher Abbott.
Eddie the Eagle takes flight
Kingsman: The Secret Service‘s Taron Egerton stars as Michael “Eddie” Edwards in this biopic about the underdog British ski-jumper who became a sensation at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Hugh Jackman plays his coach, and Dexter Fletcher (Sunshine on Leith) directs. Eddie the Eagle lands in theaters on February 26, 2016.
Gods of Egypt
The latest from director Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City, I, Robot) tells the story of a mortal hero, Bek (Brenton Thwaites), who sets out to save the world and his true love with the help of the powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Together, they face off against Set (Gerard Butler), the god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt's throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As expected, the first trailer resulted in criticism of the white-washed cast, so Lionsgate and director Alex Proyas apologized. Hopefully, viewers won’t ask for an apology and their money back after seeing all of Gods of Egypt when it comes to 2D and 3D theaters on February 26, 2016.
Four family friendly films
Planning to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip this weekend? Are you positive about that? Well, at least you can show up a few minutes late and skip the trailers, because here they are: the latest from Laika, Blue Sky, Warner Bros., and DreamWorks.
The August 19, 2016 release from the stop-motion animators at Laika, Kubo and the Two Strings, tells the story of Kubo, who must battle a mythical spirit from his past and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. This teaser focuses on the beautiful visuals that Laika has proved adept at in Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls. The voice cast (not heard here) will include Art Parkinson (Rickon Stark on Game of Thrones), George Takei, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, and Ralph Fiennes.
The fifth film in the Ice Age franchise, Ice Age: Collision Course, crashes into theaters on July 22, 2016. This time, Scrat’s pursuit of his beloved acorn takes him into space, where he sets off a series of cosmic events that threaten all the animals of the Ice Age. Returning to lend their voices once again are Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Wanda Sykes and Jennifer Lopez, and joining the franchise are Adam DeVine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Max Greenfield, Jessie J, Nick Offerman, Melissa Rauch, Michael Strahan, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Storks, coming to theaters September 23, 2016, tells the story of Junior (voiced by Andy Samberg). He’s the top delivery stork at the global internet giant Cornerstone.com, but he doesn’t deliver babies, just packages. Just as he’s about to be promoted, he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, and now, with the help of Tulip, the only human on Stork Island, he must deliver his first baby without his boss (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) finding out.
While Kung Fu Panda 2 was less successful critically and financially (at least domestically) than Kung Fu Panda, it was still good enough for DreamWorks to greenlight a third film. Jack Black returns to voice Po as he meets his father (voiced by Bryan Cranston) and travels to a panda paradise, where he must train his clumsy brethren to defend themselves against the supernatural villain Kai. Kung Fu Panda 3 hits theaters January 29, 2016.
Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino in Misconduct
In Misconduct, Josh Duhamel plays a lawyer who makes some poor life choices when he’s caught between a corrupt pharmaceutical executive (Anthony Hopkins) and his firm’s senior partner (Al Pacino). The case gets out of control when Malin Akerman introduces herself to Duhamel’s married lawyer. Producer Shintaro Shimosawa’s directorial debut also stars Alice Eve and Julia Stiles. Find it On Demand and in select theaters beginning February 5, 2016.
The Club, the latest from director Pablo Larraín (No), won the Silver Bear in Berlin and has earned excellent early reviews. The film, coming to select theaters February 5, 2016, looks at the lives of four exiled priests.
Here’s a teaser for Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard's novel, starring Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Sienna Miller, and Jeremy Irons. The film split critics when it premiered at TIFF, and it will reach American theaters sometime in 2016.
Like his other recent films (The Captive and Devil’s Knot), Atom Egoyan’s Remember has earned mixed reviews since it premiered in Venice. The story follows Christopher Plummer’s Zev, a Holocaust survivor suffering from dementia, as he escapes his nursing home. With the help of his friend Max (Martin Landau), he tries to hunt down the Nazi commander who killed their families. Find it in select theaters February 12, 2016.
From Jacob Gentry, one of the writer-directors of 2008’s The Signal, comes the time travel story Synchronicity. Look for it in theaters and on VOD beginning January 22, 2016.
Martyrs is a remake of the 2008 French horror film of the same name. A cult hit, the extremely violent film was never officially released in the U.S. Directed by the Goetz Brothers (Scenic Route), this American interpretation opens in theaters on January 22, 2016, followed by a home video release on February 2nd.
News and notes
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day will get worldwide 3D release in 2016. - THR
- Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice, Queen of Earth) will star in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant. - Heat Vision
- Director James Gunn wants Kurt Russell to play Star Lord’s father in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but the deal is not done yet. - TheWrap
- David Koepp (Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible) will write Universal’s planned remake of Bride of Frankenstein. - Variety
- Rebecca Thomas (Electrick Children) is in talks to direct the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid starring Chloe Grace Moretz. Sofia Coppola was previously attached. - TheWrap
- Andres Muschietti (Mama) will direct an adaptation of David Jaher’s book The Witch of Lime Street, the story of Harry Houdini’s attempt to debunk Margery Crandon, who claimed to be a psychic and spirit medium. - THR
- Netflix will release another feature film, Divination, starring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton as members of a once-popular singing group who reconnect after 30 years. - Deadline
- Sharon Stone will play a Hollywood agent in James Franco’s adaptation of The Disaster Artist, the story of Tommy Wiseau filming The Room. Franco plays Wiseau, and the cast also includes his brother Dave, Josh Hutcherson, Alison Brie, Seth Rogen, Kate Upton and Ari Gaynor. - THR
- Jeremy Renner will play boxer Rocky Marciano in a planned biopic on the undefeated heavyweight champion. - Variety
- Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Jason Ritter, Vanessa Bayer, and William Moseley have joined Bel Powley (Diary of a Teenage Girl) in Susan Johnson’s adaptation of Caren Lissney’s 2003 novel Carrie Pilby. - THR
- Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) is attached to star in the action-comedy Little White Corvette. Iain Morris (The Inbetweeners 2) is in negotiations to direct. Emma Stone was previously attached to the project. - THR
- Laurence Fishburne will reunite with his Matrix co-star, Keanu Reeves, in John Wick 2. - Gothamist